The World Health Organization has designated March 24 as World TB (Tuberculosis) Day. World TB Day provides the opportunity to raise awareness about TB-related problems and solutions and to support worldwide TB-control efforts. Although great strides have been made to control and cure TB, people still get sick and die from this disease in this country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states this year’s theme is “Find TB. Treat TB – Working Together to Eliminate TB” to highlight that TB is still a life-threatening problem in the U.S, despite the declining number of TB cases. The CDC further states that “anyone can get TB and current efforts to find and treat latent TB infection and TB disease are not sufficient. Misdiagnosis of TB still exists and health care professionals often do not think TB”.
In 2014, McHenry County had 5 cases of active tuberculosis and 57 people were identified with latent TB. McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) is active in conducting outbreak investigations, surveillance of TB cases, providing skin test clinics, treatment for active and latent cases of TB, and outreach to those populations at high risk for developing TB.
The Department’s TB Clinic, located in Building B on the Government Center campus (2200 N. Seminary, Woodstock), provides chest x-rays, diagnostic studies, laboratory services and medication at no charge to any resident or anyone employed in McHenry County. “Directly observed treatment” (DOT) is provided to active cases to assure patients take their medication at the dose and frequency prescribed for cure and to prevent the development of multi-drug resistant TB which continues to grow as an international threat. A small fee is charged for tuberculin skin testing.
A recent presentation was given to the McHenry County Board of Health in January, 2015 to provide an update on TB. Go online at www.mcdh.info and select the Nursing, Tuberculosis tab in the toolbar to view the presentation. For more information on TB, call MCDH’s Communicable Disease Program at 815-334-4500